e.g. is NOT the same as i.e.

Today the LINGUA FRANCA Sprachschule blog is dealing with an issue that is as big a problem for native speakers as it is for English learners – the difference (and there definitely is one!) between e.g. and i.e.

e.g. is the short form of the Latin phrase „exemplī grātiā“, meaning „for the sake of example“. It is used when you list some examples of what you have just stated. In spoken language, you normally just say „for example“. The German equivalent is z.B.- zum Beispiel

i.e. is the short form for the Latin phrase „id est“, meaning „that is“. It is used when you want to clarify what you have stated by putting it in other words, i.e. rephrasing for the sake of clarity (see what I did there?). When you are speaking, you usually just say „that is“. The German equivalent is d.h. – das heißt

If you want some more details and examples, all in colourful comic form, have a look at:

When to use i.e. in a sentence


3 thoughts on “e.g. is NOT the same as i.e.

  1. following the latin translation I would make use of these abbreviations other way round:

    e.g. “exemplī grātiā”, meaning “for the sake of example” with „z.B. zum Beispiel“

    i.g. “id est”, meaning “that is” with „d.h. das heißt“

    I am surprised at your version.


    1. Ahem…I am surprised too! Of course you are correct, I simply wrote the German at the end of the wrong paragraph! – a perfect example of how easy it can be to confuse the two. Thank you for pointing that out, I have made the changes in the post!

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